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BBQ, Bluegrass, Auction Benefit Saturday in Blowing Rock for Coffey – who’s ‘Always the First to Help Others’

By Jesse Wood

Nov. 15, 2012. High Country residents and businesses are coming together to support Robin Coffey, who suffered a freak accident when he fell from a roof in late August and has since incurred medical expenses in excess of $100,000.

A bluegrass, barbecue and silent-auction benefit will take place for Coffey on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Blowing Rock American Legion building behind the Blowing Rock Memorial Park.  

Big Mo’s BBQ will provide the food and Surefire, The Martin Laurel Band, Robert Hunter and Glenn Bolick will perform the tunes. Gail Smart of Blowing Rock Properties has been organizing the silent auction.

In addition to merchandise from numerous downtown stores on Main Street, the auction will feature gift certificates to Blowing Rock restaurants and tickets for Tweetsie Railroad, Appalachian Ski Mountain and snow tubing at Hawksnest Resort.

On Aug. 30, Coffey fell 25 feet from a roof and sustained a skull fracture, broken cheekbones, a broken rib and a shattered wrist. He was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee for surgery and treatment.

His daughter-in-law Jennifer Coffey said that Coffey, 51, works for her husband who is a general contractor, but on that particular day, her husband was helping Coffey repair the house of a gentleman “that Robin has been a caretaker for.”   

Since then, Coffey has been recovering and is now working part-time in construction. He is still undergoing physical therapy for his arm but was recently cleared by his orthopedic doctor and neurologist to begin working again.

Exactly what happened that day isn’t clear. Jennifer Coffey’s husband was climbing down a ladder and wasn’t in sight when the fall occurred, and Coffey doesn’t remember anything from around the time of the accident.

“He slipped and his feet flew out from under him,” Jennifer Coffey said. “Only the good lord knows exactly what happened that day.”

Coffey is an active member of the Sandy Flatt Baptist Church, and in the past he has organized several benefits for other folks in need, including organizing two mission trips to West Virginia through the church.

“That’s pretty much my main reason for organizing a benefit for him,” Jennifer Coffey said. “He was always the first to step up and help others.”  

A $10 donation per person is suggested and “gets you” BBQ, fixings, dessert and a drink.

For more information or directions, call Jennifer Coffey at 828-964-6573.